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Learning That Sticks

  • How can I spark my students’ interest and motivate them to learn more?

  • How can I help all of my students better remember new content and concepts?

  • How can I help them make sense of their learning and apply it to new contexts?

These are common questions, or “problems of practice,” for many teachers, from new hires to veterans. To support teachers in solving these questions, McREL’s Learning That Sticks professional learning and coaching services give teachers key insights from neuroscience on how students’ brains receive new information, store it as memories, and then recall and apply it in the future. We combine this knowledge with proven practices from learning sciences in a unique and practical Six-Phase Model for Student Learning that can help every teacher plan and deliver their lessons in a way that maximizes student interest and deep, authentic learning.

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Contact us today to learn more about our Learning That Sticks professional learning programs. Our flexible, customizable PD and coaching can be delivered to your team onsite at your location or online using a variety of formats including Zoom, Skype, Teams, Google, Thinkific, GoToWebinar, and more.

McREL's Six-Phase Model for Student Learning

Chances are, you already have a pretty good set of teaching strategies to help you connect with your students—especially if you’re familiar with our Classroom Instruction That Works® and Curiosity Works® programs. Now, you have a way to align these strategies with the brain science on learning. The breakthroughs that made Learning That Sticks possible can help any teacher guide student learning with more precision and effectiveness.

Our PD includes practical strategies, techniques, and tools for each of the six phases. We show educators how to craft, sequence, and present their lessons in a way that best aligns with what’s happening inside their students’ minds as they’re absorbing and applying new content.


Contact us today and support your teachers’ capacity to deliver Learning That Sticks.

Learning That Sticks is for teachers who want to go deeper by understanding what is actually happening in students’ minds as they learn.

Will a fleeting sensory input blossom into sophisticated insight, or will it be cast aside, like so much of what we experience?

Related Resources

Learning That Sticks: A Brain-Based Model for K-12 Instructional Design and Delivery

In far too many classrooms, the emphasis is on instructional strategies that teachers employ rather than on what students should be doing or thinking about as part of their learning. Learning That Sticks helps you look inside the secrets of how our brains process new and existing knowledge, unpacking the cognitive science so you can sequence instruction and learning experiences that challenge, inspire, and engage your students. With an easy-to-use six-phase model and lots of practical advice, this book:

  • Analyzes how to brain reacts to, stores, and retrieves information.
  • Helps you “zoom out” to understand the process of learning from beginning to end.
  • Helps you “zoom in” to see what’s going on in students’ minds during each phase.

Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works: Ready-to-Use Techniques for Increasing Student Achievement

This book provides 51 classroom-ready tools that make it easy to implement Classroom Instruction That Works strategies across grade levels and content areas. By incorporating these tools into your daily practice, you can turn your classroom into a place where high levels of engagement and deep learning happen every day.

Each of the 51 tools includes a summary of that tool’s research-based benefits, the 3-7 basic steps for using the tool, concrete examples that model how to use the tool in classrooms, and a “Teacher Talk” section that gives tips on lesson planning and implementation.

The final chapter in the book walks educators through a process for combining tools with principles of effective instructional design and knowledge of how student learning works to design focused, learning-driven, effective instructional plans.

Free White Paper | Student Learning That Works: How brain science informs a student learning model

Surgeons learn about the body before operating. So why don’t more teachers learn about the brain before educating? In this free white paper, McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin makes the case for incorporating brain science into the practice of teaching. Knowing how memory works can suggest classroom tactics that aid the acquisition and recall of information, he says. Furthermore, adopting a model for learning, rather than relying solely on the increasingly common (and increasingly detailed) instructional framework, can help teachers layer innovation upon tradition, in much the same way that models help screenwriters and composers to be creative within the audience’s expectations.